Sacrifice Me, Baby
“That guy? He’s no good.”
“That’s an understatement, Julie. Do you even know who his mother is?”
Of course Julie isn’t about to respond to that barb, jagged as it had been, because lately she’s taken on this prima donna air. On the other hand, I’m the one who had pointed out the boy fumbling in his locker for our latest round of “Sacrifice or Screw,” and I don’t mind showing off a little ignorance if it means I get the dirt on him.
Sacrifice him, I would not.
“Who’s his mom?” I say with as little eagerness as I can.
“Duh,” Julies says because of course she does.
A little loudly too because he’s turned from his locker and looking our way, and I can see he has his mother’s eyes—all three of them. Normally I wouldn’t know a politician’s face from anyone else’s, but this is a gubernatorial election year, so her face knowingly smiles from every available ad space. She also happens to be something of a national celebrity. The first demon to take public office since they’d fully arrived in our realm. Or at least the first confirmed. Though that is a bit untrue given that she’s only half demon on her father’s side. But the “one drop” rule still applies, any demon blood makes one a demon too.
Gloria must have noticed me staring at those eyes, those trichrome gems. Blue and green and gray on top. “So which is it, Dana? Sacrifice or screw? Julie’s already called him no good for either gods or mortals.”
I say, “Screw,” blushing a little, because it’s no use lying. They’d see right through that, but I find myself longing for a third category, one that a single word couldn’t possibly hold.
“Gross,” Julie says. “He’s a freshman.”
I want to remind her that we’re only sophomores.
“Yeah,” Gloria agrees. “Jacob’s still not filled out yet. I’ll disagree with Julie on one count though; he’s the perfect little lamb for the altar.”
Jacob. His name is Jacob and he’s still fumbling around in his locker with his books, but I sense that it’s not because he’s clumsy or uncoordinated. No. He’s got three upperclassmen playing a stupid schoolyard game and talking about his mother in front of him. He doesn’t want to turn around until we leave.
“He’s not unfull, Glory. He’s lithe,” I say.
“Lithe little lamb, then.”
“That’s kinda redundant,” Julie says, and I wish we could sacrifice her.
“I don’t know. You guys are being sorta mean,” I say.
“It’s just a game, Dana,” Gloria says.
“Yeah,” Julie echoes.
I tell myself to breathe. “Okay. You’re right. Let’s go eat.”
And we leave, but we have to walk by Jacob’s locker, and I want to tell him that I’ve saved him. Instead I look him in the eyes and hope the rumors of telepathy are true. His third eye, the gray one in the center of his forehead gives the subtlest of winks, and as I pass by, I can smell him. I inhale freely and deeply. The scent reminds me of the old well my grandparents used to have out back.
The one that smelled of sulfur.
The one I threw pennies in and dreamed my dreams.
About the Author: D. M. Dunn currently works as an editorial director in Bloomington, Indiana. His biggest literary claim to fame is a 2012 Dishonorable Mention in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.